God made men and women different. (If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you know that I have a tendency to state the obvious...bear with me) That point was made clear to me with something funny I read this morning. The question was asked, "How do you romance a woman?" The answer: "You care for her, cuddle her, hold her hand, write her sweet notes, share sweet moments, date her regularly, caress her, tell her she's beautiful, compliment her frequently, surprise her, respect her, spend time with her and treat her like your queen."
"How do you romance a man?"
"Come naked, bring food."
Yes, men and women are different just like vinegar and oil. Their differences are quite obvious. Vinegar is thin; oil is thick. Vinegar is bitter; oil is sweeter. Left alone together in a bottle the two will exist at opposite ends of the container. But shaken together, the two become a wonderful taste that excites the taste buds and makes bland things taste better.
The same can be said of the sexes. Our differences can drive us to opposite ends of life--far, far from each other. That's the way Satan would love for us to spend our marriages...in two completely different worlds. But God has something better in mind. He chooses that we spend our lives shaken together in this wonderful mix that spices up our lives and makes a dull existence much better.
In Genesis 2:24 we read: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."
God never intended that we be similar. The modern movement to eliminate the differences between men and women is a tragedy and a travesty. It is to look at one of the greatest inventions of the Greatest Mind and say it is imperfect and should be changed. I submit that we are far better off to embrace our differences, relish the challenges and learn to "shake" our lives together.
With this in mind, I offer two suggestions to my brothers out there. One: date your wife regularly. Do all the things you used to do to win her heart. Don't panic. It doesn't have to be expensive. Rather than an investment of money, it should be an investment of time. Make some sandwiches and take a long drive. Send the kids to a friend's house, open some cans of soup and have a candlelight dinner with a rented movie. Just do something to let her know you care.
Two: take some time away from the "noise" of life. Lisa and I just did this. We made the commitment months ago, put it on our calendar and I have not regretted the commitment one bit. Once again, it doesn't have to be extravagant. Lisa and I found a cabin in a little Mennonite community about an a hour and a half from home--no phone, no TV, no Internet. We ate cereal, bologna sandwiches and frozen pizza (not the healthiest, I know, but that wasn't our focus). We watched the rain one day and walked in the snow the next. In between, we prayed, read, set goals for our marriage and family and asked God to shake us together. Believe me, it has been well worth the investment in making sure my best friend and I stay on the same page and do not allow Satan one inch of ground to come between us. I highly recommend you consider the same.